Top Habits I'm Bringing To 2024

Transformative habits for a fulfilling 2024: sleep schedule, mindful media, reading joy, daily journaling, sharing creativity, and planning ahead.

Top Habits I'm Bringing To 2024

Hello everyone! As we close the chapter on 2023, I find myself immersed in reflection. It's been a transformative year for me, marked by my transition from college to an MBA program. But more than these academic milestones, I've cultivated some impactful habits that I'm eager to carry forward into 2024. I'm thrilled to share these habits with you, in the hope that they might inspire you on your journey of self-improvement and transformation in the coming year.

Habit 1: Consistent Sleep Schedule

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule has been one of my most challenging habits, particularly during my college years. In high school, I used to wake up at 4 AM every day to study before school. However, in college, numerous small commitments and tasks often disrupted this routine, making it difficult to be an early riser and get enough sleep. Since graduating this year, with more time at my disposal, I've been disciplining myself to go to bed around 9 PM, regardless of whether I fall asleep immediately or linger awake for a while. This allows me a necessary period to unwind and settle down.

I've noticed that minimizing phone use in bed significantly hastens my ability to fall asleep. On nights when I feel restless or 'bored', I turn to my bedside bookshelf, choosing a book to read while listening to soft, melancholic music. Additionally, using a physical alarm clock instead of relying solely on my phone's alarm has been slightly beneficial. However, I must confess that I still struggle not to reach for my phone first thing in the morning. The habit of checking my phone helps wake me up, especially when facing the cold floor of my bedroom in the mornings. In 2024, I aim to find an alternative to starting my day with my phone, as reducing this dependency is a goal I'm earnestly striving for.

Habit 2: Mindful Media Consumption

This year, I've gained a deeper awareness of my media consumption habits, especially concerning social media. During two of my four college years, which were spent in lockdown, I developed an illusion of having ample time, leading me to view social media as merely a way to kill time and entertain myself. This period saw me becoming increasingly addicted to platforms like TikTok and Instagram, coinciding with the rise of short-form media content in 2022 and 2023, such as Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Facebook Reels.

Initially, TikTok appealed to me due to its array of intriguing facts and tips on overlooked topics. However, I soon realized the fleeting nature of this learning. The educational content from a 30-second TikTok video hardly stuck with me after hours of scrolling through the app. This type of media, while entertaining, seemed fun yet ultimately passive and unproductive. Recognizing this, I took a significant step this year by first deleting TikTok, followed by Facebook and Instagram apps. I still access my social media profiles through a web browser and occasionally redownload the apps for specific purposes, such as intentional content consumption or posting updates. This approach has worked well for me.

I've also found greater satisfaction in watching educational YouTube content. Encountering creators whose style and delivery resonate with me has made learning more enjoyable and engaging. As I look forward to 2024, my aim is to further reduce my screen time. This means not only keeping these apps deleted from my phone but also exploring additional strategies to avoid aimless scrolling when I'm bored.

Habit 3: Rediscovering the Joy of Reading

Growing up, books were my primary source of entertainment and knowledge, mainly because I didn't have a phone until I was 16 and my parents limited my time on the computer and TV. This love for reading somewhat faded in college, where there always seemed to be endless tasks and readings. However, this year, I've rekindled my joy of reading, embracing it once again as a cherished habit.

I found two strategies particularly effective: reading multiple books simultaneously and getting to know authors before diving into their works. The beauty of reading various books at once is the flexibility it offers. Depending on my mood or the time of day, I can choose something educational when I have spare time before a class or something lighter for relaxed night-time reading. This variety keeps the experience fresh and engaging.

The second strategy, which I feel isn’t talked about enough, is understanding an author's mindset and style before starting their book. It's akin to choosing a movie based on familiar actors or directors – it often leads to a more enjoyable experience. This year, I've listened to more podcasts featuring interviews with authors. These insights into their thoughts and writing styles have been instrumental in helping me select books that resonate with me. In most cases, if I connect with an author's perspective and communication style, I end up loving their book.

Looking forward, I'm considering shifting more towards Kindle for my reading. Not only does it save physical space and make moving easier, but the integrated dictionary feature is a convenient tool for learning new vocabulary. My goal is to explore even more impactful books and apply the lessons learned from them in my life.

Habit 4: Journaling Daily

Journaling daily yet keeping it simple was a novel concept for me, one that I only began to explore this year. Previously, I viewed journaling merely as a diary activity – a daily summary of events and experiences. Like many people in their twenties, my days often felt too ordinary to warrant a detailed diary entry. This perspective changed when I discovered the diverse ways people approach journaling. I learned about various journaling methods, such as listing ten things to be grateful for each morning, noting down the top three priorities for the day, or reflecting on the most story-worthy moment each night. Experimenting with these different styles transformed journaling for me, making it an exciting and engaging practice.

Admittedly, maintaining consistency in my journaling has been a challenge. As I move into 2024, my focus is to enhance this consistency. One strategy I plan to implement is keeping a list of intriguing journal prompts handy. This will allow me to infuse creativity into my entries, making the process more enjoyable and less of a routine task.

Habit 5: Planning My Week Ahead

Another significant change I embraced this year was the habit of planning my entire week ahead, inspired by Stephen R. Covey's "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" This practice was something I'd contemplated for a long time but only began to implement in 2023. The essence of this habit lies in meticulously outlining and blocking out every conceivable activity for the upcoming week. This means not just scheduling meetings and classes, but also allocating time for sleep, meals, and self-care. While unexpected changes in plans are inevitable, having a well-established weekly schedule has made it much easier for me to accommodate new commitments. This approach has significantly reduced chaos in my life, allowing me to visualize and prepare for what lies ahead.

For 2024, I plan to enhance this habit by setting aside a specific time every Sunday to focus on scheduling. This will prevent me from rushing through the planning process and overlooking important commitments. Additionally, I aim to give equal attention to scheduling my weekends, not just weekdays, to ensure a well-rounded and organized week.

Habit 6: Sharing My Work

Sharing my work has been a major highlight for me in 2023. This journey began with an epiphany I experienced while reading Austin Kleon's "Show Your Work" Though I've always seen myself as creative, delving into various forms like painting, poetry, embroidery, videography, and photography, it was only after reading Kleon's insights that I considered sharing my creations with the world. This new perspective led me to purchase my own domain name, establish a personal website for my blog, and start building my YouTube channel. Initially, this endeavor was daunting, but gradually, I found joy in the creative process and the sense of accountability that comes from having an audience.

My advice to anyone reading this is simple yet profound: don't hesitate to share your work and stories with the world. Whether it's through videos, blogging, or social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok, expressing your creativity can be incredibly fulfilling. For me, the act of putting my work out there serves not just to reach an audience but also to fulfill my own creative standards.

Looking ahead to 2024, my goal is to deepen my learning and produce more meaningful content. I'm striving for consistency in my creative output, aiming to contribute something of value at least once a week.

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As I step into 2024, my focus is on deepening and refining the habits that have shaped my journey so far. Together, let's embrace this new year with purpose and passion, prepared to meet the changes and challenges that will guide us toward our best selves.